Emergency ambulance cover

Not having the right ambulance cover can be costly

If you ever need an ambulance, the last thing you want to be worried about is how much it might cost. And with the average cost of an emergency transport being more than $1100*, it can be a very expensive ride if you don’t have adequate cover.

Ambulance on-the-spot treatment and transport is not covered by Medicare and even though some states provide subsidies, there are other states that require that you pay the full cost if you don’t have ambulance cover.

So here’s a summary that helps to explain what you are covered for, and what steps you can take if you’re after a higher level of cover.

*Source: Ambulance Victoria

Health insurance and ambulance cover

Australian Unity offers two types of ambulance cover:

  • emergency transport
  • paramedic attendance (on the spot treatment)
Emergency transport

An emergency is when you are in a life threatening situation and in need of urgent assessment, resuscitation and/or treatment. For example, a cardiac arrest is usually coded as an emergency.

For your transport to the hospital to be classed as an emergency, the ambulance account must be coded and invoiced as emergency transport by a recognised state ambulance authority.

You're not covered for ambulance rides that aren't clinically necessary, like non-emergency transfers between public and private hospitals, moving hospitals to be closer to home or travelling from home to hospital for tests.

Paramedic attendance

This is where attendance by a paramedic is required, but no transport is necessary. For instance, if an ambulance paramedic is dispatched to assist after a minor accident and provides you with first aid, but you don't need to be taken to hospital.

What are you covered for?

Not all health funds provide the same level of ambulance cover, so it’s important to review the exact level of ambulance cover that you’re entitled to.

If you hold a cover with us and would like to check your eligibility, please refer to your Fact Sheet or contact us.

Australian Unity does not offer any ambulance-only covers.

To check your level of ambulance cover, please review your fact sheet or contact Australian Unity on 13 29 39.

State by state variations

In addition to ambulance cover provided through private health insurance, some states also provide a level of ambulance cover:

  • Queensland and Tasmania have state-based ambulance schemes where residents are covered.
  • NSW and ACT provide ambulance cover if you have hospital or ambulance-only insurance.
  • Other states may offer some level of cover for pensioners and concession card holders. For everyone else, you may want to consider purchasing an ambulance subscription with your applicable State Ambulance provider (where available) so that you’re covered in non-emergency situations.

Australian Unity members with an eligible hospital cover are covered for emergency ambulance transportation and/or paramedic attendance where it is not claimable through another source (e.g. Transport Accident Commission or Department of Veterans Affairs).

Victorian pension and concession card holders are provided with free transportation and on-the-spot treatment.

Victorian residents who want ambulance coverage that includes non-emergency transportation can purchase an Ambulance Victoria membership from ambulance.vic.gov.au

Find out more

If you have any questions or concerns about your level of ambulance cover, please contact us on 13 29 39 to discuss your needs.

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